‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i

Language Log reports Dr. James McCloskey’s reaction to the rebounding of Irish.

His observation of Irish gaining strength among second language learners (such as myself) but shrinking in the Gaeltacht is similar to our situation with Hawaiian, through we have only one “Gaeltacht” – the Ni’ihau community. I read and enjoyed Dr. McCloskey‘s book “Voices Silenced – Has Irish a Future?” An extract from his book is available online.

I can add my own observations after spending three weeks in Glenn Colm Cille, Co. Donagal. My wife and I did not observe any younger people using Irish few women in their early 20s who worked at Oideas Gael, either for the school itself or in the restaurant next door.

We were also told that parents in the larger cities in Ireland used to send their children to “Irish camp” in the Gaeltacht to strengthen their language skills. When their children observed the rural lifestyle, they developed an even stronger distaste for Irish and a desire for the more modern life they equated with English speakers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *